Does Makeup with SPF Provide Enough Sun Protection?

by Claudia Christin on Mar 30, 2023

spf with makeup

The sunny and hot days are just ahead of us, the weather gets a lot warmer and the sun is out a little bit longer. Practicing a good sun habit is a must during this season especially that you will spend more time outdoors. Sunscreen is not only great to save you from future skin-trouble, but it also protects you from skin cancer. 

If you look through your makeup product, you might have noticed the label SPF and PA.  Have you ever wondered if your makeup with SPF gives you enough sun protection? In short, no, and we will explain it further for you guys. 

what is spf in makeup?

What Is SPF In Makeup?

SPF in makeup may vary from SPF 10 - SPF 50 with a PA level that varies from PA+ - PA++++. You can easily find this label on the packaging of the product, and in order to get that label, the product has to go through the same testing procedures as a regular sunscreen (cream) that we use on a regular basis. They also contain some of the common familiar UV filters that you can find on your sunscreen too.

SPF in makeup is sunscreen added to makeup formula to help protect your skin from UV rays.

can makeup with spf provide adequate protection?

Can Makeup With SPF Provide Adequate Protection?

Simply saying, NO. 

For a product to be considered adequate to provide the labeled protection, you have to wear a standard amount of 2 mg/cm2 of the product daily. It is commonly measured as two fingers-length of sunscreen just for your face and neck. 

Can you imagine applying that much foundation / tinted makeup products for your face? 

spf label only is not enough

SPF Label (only) Is Not Enough (sometimes)

To ensure that you get enough protection, you should look for a broad spectrum protection which means that it protects you from all UV wavelengths (including UVA, UVB or even bluelight). If your makeup is only labeled with SPF, with no label of broad spectrum or PA, it hasn’t been validated for their protection against UVA that causes aging. 

how to make the best use of them instead?

How To Make The Best Use of Them Instead

Regardless of what we’ve been talking about, makeup with SPF still at a certain point give “some” protection. Although they are not enough as a standalone protection, it does not mean that your makeup with SPF is useless at all. Makeup with SPF works like an icing on top of the cake, it complements the protection against sun rays. You can still use it as additional protection!

Use your traditional sunscreen product in the recommended amount of 2mg/cm2 and let them set. You can follow up with your makeup product on top for an added protection. 

if i use sunscreen with spf 50 and 30, does it mean that i get spf 80?

"If I Use Sunscreen With SPF 50 And Makeup With SPF 30, 

Does It Mean That I Get SPF 80?"

It’s not a 1+1 in sunscreen, you only get the highest number of protection from the two products you layered. For example, if you're using an SPF50 of sunscreen with SPF30 of makeup, you get an SPF50, but with an added layer of protection for some part that you might have missed from your traditional sunscreen. 

You still have to reapply your product every 3-4 hours if you are outdoor or exposed to direct / indirect sunlight.

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